First trail run of 2018

Humility, mud, and what I wore

For the first day in what seems like forever, the weather got into the high 50s/low 60s and the sun was shining. It was a perfect Saturday morning. I went trail running at Percy Warner, a route I’ve done many times, but this time was different: I ran my slowest time ever. 

It was a really humbling experience. I figured my first post-surgery/exercise restriction run wouldn’t be one for the record books, but I had no idea that I would get winded so easily. I learned the hard way at the end of last year that I need to listen to my body; today I was careful to slow down when I felt chest pain or abdominal pain, careful to slow my heart rate as I walked uphill. It was frustrating to take so many breaks. Hills and rocks that I had raced over just a few months ago became walk-jog-walk-rest-walk-jog endeavors. Flat stretches that I used to fly across offered 20 good seconds of running before having to slow down to quiet my heartbeat pulsing in my ears. Stopping to catch my breath took twice as long, and didn’t work as well as before.

There were also some environmental factors. Many of the rocks were covered in slick ice and had to be gingerly stepped over. Since the Mossy Ridge trail is so popular, and the day was a beautiful one, the heavily-trafficked trail turned into a mud pit in some sections. The mud splashed onto my pants and socks and clumped to my trail runners, acting as ankle weights.

So was this the best run ever? Yes. Because my minute-mile, the aches and pains, the mud and ice – none of that matters. I am so lucky to be here, to be able to breath and run and laugh and write and be outside. This run was beautiful.

On a lighter note, as you can see from the picture, both Adventuretruck and I really needed a bath! Here’s a head-to-toe breakdown of what I wear to trail run in nice but cool weather (all of which needed a good washing when I was done).


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